Young Leaders – The value of investing in your people


If I invest in my people will they leave? …. Or will they leave if I don’t?

A question many businesses ask themselves when employing potential Young Leaders. The balance/risk between building an effective, long term succession plan, and a short term return on investment is something that they need to consider and make the right decision based on their circumstances.

Has staff retention ever been more important?

Currently, there is a surplus in job vacancies, the highest point since records began, so it is more important than ever that you have a team that feels valued and invested in.

But with Millennials and Generation Z employees now entering the workforce, businesses are now starting to see a shift in what will encourage staff retention, as well as helping to engage and sustain this future workforce.

So how can you create a work environment that is attractive and helps to sustain a new workforce of young leaders?

Speaking from personal experience, having the investment in helping me learn and progress my skills gives me extra motivation both at work, and when I am doing my coursework.

I’m 20 years old, born in 2001… so I guess that I fit within Generation Z? Anyways, I am currently undertaking an apprenticeship, and what’s great is that I can apply what I have learnt at work into my projects and visa-versa. I am able to work on tasks and review what has gone well, and what I could have done better. That way I am able to make the mistakes needed for me to become a success and develop my skills further.

But, what’s really interesting is that one of my friends, who is of a similar age, has recently joined a new company and feels way out of her depth. She is working within a small company and hasn’t really been given a lot of support to progress her skills and her career. She keeps making mistakes, and rather than getting the necessary training to help her learn the correct procedures, she feels like she is getting forgotten about to come to a resolution by herself. Therefore, we have had a lot of conversations between the two of us, and it’s becoming clear to me that her morale and productivity is starting to suffer.

So, that brings me to the question… is there a clear link between training and productivity in young leaders?


Well, it’s clear to see a correlation between those factors in my friend’s case… and I would hazard a guess that there are also many young people struggling in similar circumstances.

What really brought it home for me, was one of the sentences she said:

“How am I supposed to be motivated, not just for my own career progression, but also to becoming a dedicated member of staff, if they don’t value me or my long term career?”

Now she wakes up every morning feeling like she dreads work, feels like putting in the bare minimum effort, and doesn’t have the creativity to bring to the table (That I know she has) which would offer real value to the business both in the short term and the long term.

What am I actually trying to say here?

Millennials and Generation Z employees especially are at the beginning of their careers. Usually just joined in an Entry-Level or have progressed up their career to a seasoned employee (2 or so years onboard)

At this stage, they are needing to find their feet, and have that support they need to be able to be part of an organisation long term.

Yes, after these young leaders have been invested in, they might leave. But they would have been a dedicated member of staff throughout the process.

An investment is always risky… whether it’s financial, new assets, or even in training for staff… but what’s riskier sometimes is not taking the leap in the first place.

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